Joan Allen to Star in ABC's Jenna Bans Drama

Playing the mayor in one of pilot season's hottest dramas.
Courtesy of ABC
Joan Allen

Three-time Oscar nominee Joan Allen is headed to ABC.

The actress has been tapped to star in ABC's Jenna Bans thriller, previously known as Flesh and Blood, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The drama, one of pilot season's hottest projects, centers on the return of a local politician's (Allen) young son (The Way, Way Back's Liam James), formerly presumed dead after disappearing more than a decade earlier, and the shockwaves it sends through his tight-knit family. But as the mysterious young man is welcomed back into his community, the neighbor sitting in jail for his murder is released and the cop responsible is forced to re-examine what truly happened so many years ago.

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Allen will star as Claire, a former harried mother running in her first mayoral race who 12 years later is now the slick professional mayor of Red Pines, Calif. Intelligent, ambitious, focused and slightly manipulative, she is about to announce her candidacy for governor when Adam, her 8-year-old son who was presumed dead after having been kidnapped 12 years prior, suddenly appears at age 20, apparently having escaped from his captor. Claire is devastated to learn of the horrors her son has endured. However, she is a political animal and it seems she has plans to use her son's return to further her political ambitions.

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Allen — who has been Academy Award nominated for The Contender, The Crucible and Nixon — counts TV roles in The Killing and Luck among her credits. This would be her first broadcast series regular role and comes as film actors continue to migrate to the small screen with the appeal of cache and shorter seasons. The Bans drama is rumored to follow the same model as ABC's How to Get Away With Murder with a potential shorter run. She's repped by ICM and attorney Frank Stewart.

Allen joins a cast that also includes Zach Gilford, Margot Bingham and Floriana Lima.

Scandal and Off the Map's Bans will pen the script for ABC Studios and Mandeville Television and exec produce alongside David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Laurie Zaks and director Paul McGuigan.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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